Scaling Identities: Nationalism and Territoriality.

AuthorJohnson, Kofi
PositionBook review

Herb, Guntram H. and David H. Kaplan. Scaling Identities: Nationalism and Territoriality. Lanham, Maryland Rowman & Littlefield, 2018. Viii +294 pages. Hardcover, $95.

Scaling Identities: Nationalism and Territoriality, edited by Guntram H. Herb and David Kaplan, brings together a collection of eminent scholars to discuss the central theme that national identity is inextricably linked to territory and scale. To drive this point home, the book presents a series of case studies to help readers understand how national identity is navigated across spatial scales. More importantly, the book focuses on the significance of geography to national identity.

This book's major strengths are that it is theoretical in scope, comprehensive, and that it provides readers with new insights in a field that has been neglected by many geographers. Secondly, it presents readers with new insights into scale identities not based on Eurocentric norms but embraces issues of our time on nationalism in selected countries of the world, making the book non-Eurocentric in its scope. Thirdly, it highlights empirical analyzes of nationalism and identities. The book is fresh, sophisticated, interesting, provoking, and well-organized.

Scaling Identities is organized into sections. The first section of the book, titled, "Conceptual Issues," analyzes the complex relationship between national identity, power, and territory, and discusses some of the dominant factors that define national identity.

It then looks at the roles that define national identity and explains its formation. "Consolidating Identities" focuses on the new view of scale and its connection. The section outlines between identity and territory, how it operates. It emphasizes those strategies to keep all parts together through educational systems, minority policies, immigration control, and other means to keep the country united. Here, national identities take the shapes of citizens defining themselves against others often loaded with nostalgia of glorious...

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